Those in the know are aware that , every January , the Winter
NAMM show brings together hundreds of music-equipment manufacturers hawking their latest
products. It’s madness. The never-ending cacophony of guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards,
orchestra instruments, sound systems, and recording devices is powerful enough to beat the most
vicious UFC champ into a tiny blob of whimpering defeat. And every year, the GP staff puts itself
in harm’s way to deliver our dear readers the scoop on all the fresh, new goodies available to
make their musical dreams come true.
For our 2012 report, you can peruse new-product offerings for electric gear, acoustic gear, performance
gear, recording gear, and accessories, as well as cruise through some new categories:
• Oddities showcases some weird, but usable products.
• Cutting-Edge Tools details the year’s hippest tech toys.
• Hot Bargains is where to peek for amazing values.
• Dream Machines assembles notable boutique and expensive products.
• Editors’ Showstoppers collects the gear that really caught the staff’s attention.
We’ve also initiated a way to let readers know if and when the products in this report will be
reviewed in print or online. Simply click to guitarplayer.com/namm2012, and a “NAMM Products
Review Schedule” blog will keep you in-the-know.
Boss TU-10 Clip-On Tuner
Price: $29 street
|Boss TU-10 Clip-On Tuner
Why You Want It: Clip-ons are all the rage, and
this one has a color LCD. Sweet!
Graph Tech Tusq Harmonically Rich Picks
|Seymour Duncan Joe Bonamassa Signature Pickups
Why You Want It: All the tone, resonance, detail,
and harmonics of TUSQ nuts, saddles, and bridge
pins in a pick.
Levy’s Leathers Chopper
Price: $83 retail
Why You Want It: Strut your rev’d-up badassness
with skulls on denim with leather ends.
LR Baggs M80 acoustic pickup
Price: $249 pre-order
Why You Want It: Senses all frequency ranges and
resonances from the top, back, sides, and neck.
Planet Waves American Stage Cable
Price: $39-$69 retail
Why You Want It: Noise free and clear tonal
reproduction with a Geo-Tip design that ensures
a secure, tight fit in guitar jack.
Why You Want It: Lots of presets for altered,
dropped, and open tunings—as well as for nonguitar
instruments such as mandolin, ukulele,
and pedal-steel—plus a large note indicator you
can see from anywhere on stage.
SBK 3I-4217-18 Acoustic Dreadnought Case
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: It’s an injection-molded,
waterproof case. Perfect for Navy Seals and
hardy musicians who perform in high-humidity
Schaller Da Vinci tuners
|Schaller Da Vinci Tuners
Price: $115 chrome/$118 black/$195 gold
Why You Want It: Unique round design and newly
designed worm gear for precise tuning. Scratchproof
polycarbonate window lets you see the
Price: $375/set street
Why You Want It: Based on the P.A.F.s in
Bonamassa’s badass ’59 Les Paul, they’re wound
on the same machine that created humbuckers
for Gibson in the ’50s. Only 1,959 sets will be
made, and they sound like god.
Seymour Duncan Gus G.
Fire Blackouts System
Price: $199/set street
Why You Want It: Combines the punch and sustain
of active pickups with the clarity and harmonic
richness of passive pickups.
TC Electronic Tone-
Print App for Android
|TC Electronic TonePrint
App for Android
Why You Want It: Join the iPhone crew in beaming
sonic updates to your TonePrint pedals.
O X Series
Price: From $1,799-$1,999 retail
Why You Want It: Virtually indestructible carbon-
fiber construction—we’ve dropped these
puppies right on their necks with zero damage
noted—and shimmer-y good sound.
Dean Exhibition Thin-
Body Quilt Ash Acoustic
Price: $399 street
Why You Want It: Looks stunning and includes
onboard Aphex Big Bottom and Aural Exciter circuits.
Epiphone Dave Navarro
|Epiphone Dave Navarro “Jane” Signature
Price: $599 street
Why You Want It: A bitchin’ black beauty
from the tattooed rock god. Includes solid
sitka spruce and mahogany woods and
Epi’s eSonic preamp.
Fender USA Select Kingman
|Fender USA Select
Why You Want It: One of the first U.S.-made
Fender acoustics in 20 years! Features solidwood
construction, bone nut and bridge pins,
tri-color sunburst, and Fishman Sonitone electronics.
Lag U44C UKULELE
Price: $140 street
Why You Want It: All-mahogany construction, a
groovy tribal rosette around the soundhole, and
it comes with a padded gig bag.
Why You Want It: New to Martin’s solid-wood
Road Series line, the DRS2 features a Stratabond
neck and Fishman Sonitone electronics.
Ovation 1627VL-4 Artist
|Ovation 1627VL-4 Artist
Price: $1,199 retail
Why You Want It: If you can’t pop the big bucks
for the Glen Campbell Limited Edition, the
super-retro-cool VL captures plenty of Glen
PRSSE Angelus Custom
|PRS SE Angelus
Price: $749 street
Why You Want It: PRS quality at a more affordable
price. Solid rosewood back, rosewood sides,
a solid Sitka spruce top, and a mahogany neck.
Recording King Greenwich
Price: $933 retail/$699 street
Why You Want It: Excellent sounding—thanks
to a deep body, solid mahogany back and sides,
Sitka spruce top, and a 13-fret neck.
Vox AGA30 Acoustic Guitar Amp
|Vox AGA30 Acoustic Guitar Amp
Price: $400 retail
Why You Want It: A hip and versatile 30-watt
combo that gives you both solid-state Normal
and Tube Pre-amp channels.
Badcat Bob Cat 100
|Badcat Bob Cat 100
Price: $1,449 retail
Why You Want It: There’s nothing like it. A handwired
5-watt tube amp with built-in Unleash
technology that allows you to attenuate the
power, or increase it up to 100 watts via a class
D power section.
Price: $149 street (includes delay and overdrive
effects). Stomp Shop App is free. Effects from
Why You Want It: App-driven hardware pedal
that can morph into almost any stompbox you
desire using your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.
Take that, planned obsolescence!
Fender Powered By Roland
VG Stratocaster G-5
Price: $1,299 street
Why You Want It: A Strat with COSM modeling,
the G5 delivers instant alternate tunings, and 20
instrument and pickups tones.
Fishman Triple Play Wireless
|Fishman Triple Play Wireless Guitar Controller
Price: Approx. $299 street
Why You Want It: Control any virtual instrument
or MIDI device from up to 100 feet away without
a cable! A hexaphonic pickup and wireless
transmitter send MIDI information to a thumb
drive-sized USB receiver that plugs into your
computer or iOS device.
Line 6 StageScape M20D
|Line 6 StageScape M20d
Price: $2,499 street
Why You Want It: Massively cool touch screen
and icon-driven mixer with remote iPad control
that lets a band mix itself like superheroes.
Mates blissfully with StageSource speakers.
Line 6 StageSource
Price: $1,199 street
Why You Want It: The way-too-intelligent
L3t includes onboard DSP, a mixer, and smart
speaker modes that change response to match
the application (main, monitor, keyboard, etc.).
Price: $999 street
Why You Want It: A groovy digital mixer/iPad
marriage that lets you control all aspects of your
mix—even wirelessly. You can even snap pix of
band mates to ID channel faders. Yum!
Price: $500 street
Why You Want It: A guitar with onboard Antares
Solid-Tune pitch correction that instantly gets
the guitar in tune and constantly monitors intonation
to keep you in tune all over the neck,
regardless of finger pressure, string stretching,
Ampeg Heritage R-12R
|Ampeg Heritage R-
Price: $4,999 street
Why You Want It: Based on an early ’60s model,
this beautiful-sounding combo has stellar reverb
and features museum-grade hand wiring. Production
limited to 100 pieces.
Bedell LE LEOH-54-2
Why You Want It: A great-sounding, world-class
acoustic featuring awesome woods and exemplary
Price: $2,680 street
Why You Want It: Dennis Fano’s unique take on
a non-reverse Firebird offers superb playability
and soulful tone.
Price: $1,899 street
Why You Want It: Wielding Clean and High-Gain
channels, dual 6L6GC power tubes, and digital
reverb, this 1x12 ripper goes where no Fender
combo has gone before.
Fibenare Roadmaster ’56
Price: $4,160 retail/$3,328 street
Why You Want It: This gorgeous Hungarian-made
guitar was inspired by classic ’50s instruments,
and is handcrafted down to hand-winding the
pickups and constructing the bridge and the nut.
Framus AZ10 Archtop
|Framus AZ10 Archtop
Price: $9,369 retail
Why You Want It: This spectacular guitar,
inspired by the Homonymous Instrument
Series built for Attila Zoller in the ’60s, is constructed
of solid AAAA flamed-maple and has
a solid spruce top, a AAA flamed-maple neck
with a tiger-stripe ebony fretboard, mother-ofpearl
inlays, and two MEC floating humbuckers.
Koll Guitars The
|Koll Guitars The Troubadour
Price: $1,995 street
Why You Want It: Named after the legendary
West Los Angeles nightclub, The Troubadour is
made of solid alder and sports a two-point Stratstyle
vibrato and a TV Jones Powertron pickup.
Marshall Micro Series
Price: $1,060 retail (combo), $1,000 head
Why You Want It: English-made, one-watt “replicas”
of Marshall’s famed JTM-, JMP-, JCM-,
DSL-, and JVM-series amps. Launching throughout
2012 in celebration of Marshall’s 50th Anniversary.
Matchless Clubman Reverb
|Matchless Clubman Reverb
Why You Want It: First time the Clubman Reverb
has been offered in a combo, and it’s one of the
coolest looking amps ever.
Ovation 1627 LTD -4 Glen
Campbell Limited Edition
Price: $3,199 retail
Why You Want It: Tip your hat to the Rhinestone
Cowboy with this extremely rare (only 50 numbered
models will be made) tribute to Campbell’s
50th year in show business.
Santa Cruz Bob Brozman
Price: $7,250 retail
Why You Want It: This gorgeous instrument features
reclaimed koa on the back, sides, and peghead,
and in the words of the illustrious Mr.
Brozman, “The tone of this guitar can make a
grown man cry.”
Why You Want It: The fretboard’s growing vine
celebrates Takamine’s 50th anniversary and its
future, and only 50 of these marvels will be produced.
Price: $769 retail/$549 street
Why You Want It: Features vintage amp models
and advanced COSM tones. Dual-LCD screen
offers direct access to every parameter (no menus
to navigate), and the new Accel pedal allows simultaneous
control of multiple parameters.
Earth Quaker Devices
|EarthQuaker Devices Organizer
Price: $185 direct
Why You Want It: Want to turn your guitar into a
’60s Farfisa or Vox organ? This polyphonic organ
emulator is your ticket to Cheesy Keys Heaven.
Fender Pawnshop Series
Excelsior and Greta
|Fender Pawnshop Series Excelsior and Greta
Price: $299 street (Excelsior), $200 street (Greta)
Why You Want It: The 13-watt 1x15 Excelsior
combo looks and sounds like something made by a
TV repairman in the 1950s, while the 12AT7-powered
Greta is a micro amp with vintage-radio styling.
G-Lab SD-1 Smooth Delay
and DR-3 Dual Reverb
|G-Lab SD-1 Smooth Delay and DR-3 Dual Reverb
Price: SD-1 $289 street/DR-3 $249 street
Why You Want It: The SD-1 is a great-sounding
tape/analog delay simulator that’s loaded with
features. It also has a Control output for linking
it to the DR-3—a versatile dual reverb unit.
Hayden Bespoke Program
Price: Varies with model and options.
Why You Want It: Create your own customized head
or combo. Choose from a wide variety of options,
including tubes, speakers, gain structure, EQ, reverb,
Tolex color, grille-cloth type, and lots more.
Jam Pedals Delay Llama+
|Jam Pedals Delay Llama+
Price: $350 street
Why You Want It: If you dig vintage analog
delay sounds from classic Panasonic MN3205-
style BBD analog chips, but also desire modern
touches such as jacks for a Hold (looping) footswitch
and expression pedal (delay time) control,
this bold-sounding beast will meet your needs.
Pigtronix Infinity Looper
Why You Want It: Dual-stereo looper pedal with
comprehensive control options, such as analog
limiting and sample-accurate MIDI sync.
Rivera 3D-Shaman Chorus
Why You Want It: Three outputs (wet left, wet
right, dry center) for creating super-huge chorusing
with multi-amp rigs.
Spaceman Gemini III
Dual Fuzz Generator
|Spaceman Gemini III Dual Fuzz Generator
Price: $309 direct
Why You Want It: This handwired, all-discrete
transistor fuzz combines modern silicon and vintage
germanium fuzz circuits in parallel—each
with three selectable gain settings—and lets you
combine and filter them in numerous ways to
produce a plethora of fuzz tones.
Vox Delay Lab
Price: $229 street
Why You Want It: Thirty delay types, a
28-second looper, 30 presets, and expression
pedal control over all parameters.
Albion Gulfstream 30C
Why You Want It: 6V6-powered twochannel,
30-watt combo with digital
reverb and bias-modulating tremolo.
Budda Amp Baby Budda
Price: $1,499 retail
Why You Want It: A compact, hand-wired package
that delivers 18 watts from two EL84 power
tubes and a 5U4 rectifier.
Carvin Allan Holdsworth
|Carvin Allan Holdsworth
Signature HH2 BC
Price: $1,199 direct
Why You Want It: The latest version of Allan
Holdsworth’s Signature guitar features a chambered
alder body with a white birch top and a
set Eastern hardrock maple neck topped with an
ebony fretboard. Custom options are available.
Charvel DX-1 ST Soloist
Why You Want It: Smooth player with a flame
maple top on a neck-through body. EMG 85 and
Dean Dime Concrete
Price: $1,299 street
Why You Want It: Dimebag reportedly used the
original as his dropped-D machine, but this limited
edition will rock viciously in any key. Only
333 will be made worldwide.
DV Mark Triple 6
Price: $1,499 street
Why You Want It: This updated, 120-watt, threechannel
devil now has two gain stages for the
second and third channels for added flexibility,
plus MIDI switching, and automatic biasing for
ESP RZK-II Burnt
Price: $2,499 street
Why You Want It: Rammstein’s Richard Z. Kruspe
gets a fierce signature model with an appropriately
industrial distressed/burnt finish. Ja!
Epiphone Ace Frehley
“ Budokan” Les
Paul Custom Outfit
|Epiphone Ace Frehley
“Budokan” Les Paul
Why You Want It: Duh. Ace! Budokan! Limited
edition of 1,000! Three DiMarzio humbuckers!
Are you nuts???
Fender Select Series
Price: $2,049 and up street
Why You Want It: Your fave classic Fenders all
dressed up in magnificent woods and other topdrawer
Hagstrom Viking DLX 12
Why You Want It: Great-playing electric
12-string with a maple set neck, a contoured
semi-hollow body, and two Hagstrom HJ-50
Hughes & Kettner
TubeMeister 5 amp
Why You Want It: Aggressive H&K tube tone in
5-watt package. Built-in Red Box and power soak.
Price: $5,575 retail
Why You Want It: George Benson’s latest signature
model features a larger body, wider neck,
and ebony bridge.
#4 Jim Root Head
|Orange Signature #4 Jim Root Head
Why You Want It: Love the Tiny Terror series—
small, light, ballsy. The Signature #4 delivers
the fire-breathing tone from the Dirty channel
on the Slipknot and Stone Sour guitarist’s Rockerverb
Palmer DREI Triple
Single Ended Amplifier
|Palmer DREI Triple Single Ended Amplifier
Price: $1,499 retail
Why You Want It: Have it three ways with the
DREI’s unique single-ended amp design, which
allows you to mix and match three different
output tube sections with individual volume controls
for myriad tonal combinations. The DREI
works optimally with EL84, 6L6, 6V6, KT90, and
Price: $3,116 street
Why You Want It: The first piezo-equipped solidbody
from PRS, this flawless machine comes
with uncovered 53/10 pickups, a new PRS/LR
Baggs piezo system, and a 5-way blade selector.
Quilter MicroPro 200
Price: $899 direct
Why You Want It: A full-featured, 200-watt amp
with four voicing modes, four boosts, a mic/line
input, and reverb, tremolo, and overdrive limiting
that weighs just 19 lbs and is compact enough to
drop into a large gym bag.
Reverend Sensei RA
|Reverend Sensei RA
Price: $1,079 retail
Why You Want It: A lean, mean 6-string with the
new, Joe Naylor-designed Railhammer Chisel
pickups, which feature blades under the wound
strings (for tight lows) and polepieces under the
plain strings (for fat highs).
Slim Line Series
Price: From $799 street
Why You Want It: Supermodel slim and light, with
a choice of active or passive pickups, as well as
6-, 7-, and 8-string models. Offered in satin black
and a beautiful see-thru blue burst.
Sterling by Music
Man JP100 John
Price: $629 street
Why You Want It: It practically has John Petrucci’s
fingerprints all over it—his signature, his
shield inlays, his dome knobs, and more—and it’s
under $630. Need we say more?
Traynor YGL1 1x12 combo
|Traynor YGL1 1x12
Price: $849 retail/$679 street
Why You Want It: 15-watt all-tube amp with
a 3-way mode switch that provides a crisp
“American”-style tone (USA), a grittier, “British
amp” flavor (Brit mode), or a Pure mode that
bypasses the tone controls entirely.
Price: $449 street
Why You Want It: Super-portable in racing red
with a built-in headphone amp, onboard distortion,
and a 1/8" aux in jack for rockin’ with your
Two-Rock EXO 15
Price: $1,295 street
Why You Want It: 15-watt amp with a futuristic,
all-metal “Exoskeleton” chassis with lighted
front-panel controls. Delivers superb clean and
Price: $425 retail
Why You Want It: This cute combo delivers
four watts of Top Boost tube tone and features
1963-style blue vinyl covering, Tygon “fret”
cloth, and Bakelite handle.
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Tons of firepower with large
LCDs and butt-simple, intuitive controls. You
get 20 amp models, 100 stompbox effects, 40
rhythm patterns, a tube boost, and more.
AXL USA Bulldog
|AXL USA Bulldog
Price: $733 retail/$549 street
Why You Want It: What’s not to dig about a
sweet playing LP Junior-style guitar with a Lindy
Fralin P-90 pickup and TonePros hardware that’s
assembled and setup in California?
Why You Want It: It’s a super-cool, compact
signal router that takes your input and sends it
to channel A, B, or both, plus a tuner output.
Ibanez Sage SGT230EVS
|Ibanez Sage SGT230EVS
Price: $249 street
Why You Want It: A beautiful sunburst jumbo at
a great price with a mahogany neck, back, and
sides; a spruce top; and onboard tuner.
Line 6 Mobile In
|Line 6 Mobile In
Why You Want It: Get righteous quality when
you track guitar tones into your iPhone or iPad.
You also get the Mobile POD app for free, with
10,000 freaking presets.
Maple Lake by Wechter DN-2411CE
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Who wouldn’t want an Abe
Wechter-designed cutaway acoustic with a solid
spruce top, mahogany back and sides, an abalone
rosette, and an AW-1 Preamp—all for three bills?
Price: $12 direct (5 dice in key of G)
Why You Want It: Are you a fan of “automatic
writing?” Well, toss the Chord Dice, and let fate
write the harmony for your next song. A nice
remedy for writer’s block.
gPad Music gPad/Mini g
Price: $239 direct
Why You Want It: Playing riffs holding an iPad,
iPhone, or iPod Touch loaded with a guitar app
is dorky. Really. But pop your fave i-device into
these guitar and ukulele bodies, and you’ll look
rad while exploiting high technology.
Price: $129 retail
Why You Want It: Mount this mini acoustic above
any door, and you’ll be greeted by the sound of
strummed strings whenever someone pops into
the room. Quite a conversation piece.
Revamped Glass Design
Speaker Cab Kit
Price: From $399 retail
Why You Want It: Replace the wood back of your
speaker cabinet with these illuminated stainedglass
windows, and transform a “retired” cab
into a very cool coffee table. You can even take
the glowing box of glass art onstage (though the
sound will obviously be blowing towards the rear
of the venue).
Price: $99 retail (includes gig bag)
Why You Want It: When you can’t cart your guitar
along, the super-portable Shredneck lets you
practice scales and runs anytime and anywhere.
Former Guitar Player’s Guitar Superstar finalist
Orlando (Adrenaline Mob) swears by it, and he’s
one incredibly speedy shredder.
|Strumbuddy Troubadour Smartphone Holder
Price: $49 direct
Why You Want It: Running amp, effects, tuner, or
even recording apps on your smartphone? The fully
adjustable Troubadour lets you keep an eye on
them, and easily adjust their controls, while playing
your guitar. And, according to Strumbuddy, the
“added mass improves guitar resonance.” Whoa!
Why You Want It: What’s more eye-catching than
TV inside your guitar?
Price: $300 direct
Why You Want It: This super versatile, handbuilt
tremolo/vibrato/rotary speaker pedal packs
multiple modulation circuits (that can be synchronized
or not), dual Speed and Vibe controls,
a rotary speed ramp switch, and Jerky Tremolo
and Surf Tone switches.
Blackstar HT Metal/
Pure Valve Filth
Blackstar HT Metal/ Pure Valve Filth
Price: $319 retail
Why You Want It: Doesn’t the model name say it
all? Screw the specs, just get one and rage like a
tortured, angry demon!
Boss RC -300 Loop Station
|Boss RC -300 Loop Station
Price: $768 retail/$549 street
Why You Want It: Boss’ new flagship looper
boasts three stereo tracks with individual controls
including dedicated faders, up to three
hours of internal recording, 99 memory slots, 16
effects, and lots more.
Chandler Limited Germanium
Price: $335 street
Why You Want It: Gasp! This pedal sounds awesome.
Creamy, articulate, ballsy, and sexy overdrive
that triggers blissed-out ear-gasms. Sigh.
Dunlop Joe Bonamassa
|Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Signature
Price: $169 street
Why You Want It: Gutsy sounding wah with a
Halo inductor and a selector for true or non-true
Fender Mustang Floor
|Fender Mustang Floor Multi-Effects
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Twelve amp models, 37
effects, lots of ins and outs, and tank-esque construction.
MXR M77 Custom
Badass Modified O.D.
|MXR M77 Custom Badass
Price: $99 street
Why You Want It: All the greatness of a classic
overdrive with modern features, like a 100Hz
Cut/Boost and a Bump switch that pumps up
lows and mids.
Pigtronix Fat Drive
Price: $139 street
Why You Want It: Multiple, cascaded gain stages
deliver meaty tones ranging from slightly overdriven
to richly saturated.
Red Witch Synthotron
|Red Witch Synthotron
Price: $399 street
Why You Want It: Bring the psychedelic fire of
analog synth sounds to your guitar. A psychotropic
love-in for your ax.
Retro Channel Preamp
and Power Amp
|Retro Channel Preamp and Power Amp
Why You Want It: Preamp delivers kickass tone
using two 12AX7s and one EL84 driving a small
internal speaker as an active load. Stereo power
amp (2x150 watts) uses proprietary solid-state
technology for warm, tube-like response.
Source Audio Dimen -
|Source Audio Dimension Reverb
Price: $239 street
Why You Want It: Twelve reverbs, two user presets,
Hot Hand control, and a totally new reverb
algorithm called Mod-Verb.
Tech 21 B oost Series
Price: $195 retail each
Why You Want It: Slam your amp’s front end with
21dB of clean boost for organic kerrang, or get
super-aggro funky with the thrilling colors of
the Boost Distortion, Boost Fuzz, or Boost Overdrive.
Price: $199 street
Why You Want It: True-bypass pedal features
hand-wired circuitry on a turret board, along
with high-grade carbon-comp resistors, Carling
footswitch, and Switchcraft jacks.
Alto i PA powered
speaker for i Pad
Why You Want It: Great system for anyone who
performs with pre-recorded tracks—just plug in
your iPad, your instrument, your mic, and rock.
Alto ADM10 mic included.
Price: $599 street
Why You Want It: This is one of a full series of
professional powered speakers that can be used
as mains or monitors.
Price: $1,399 retail/$999 street
Why You Want It: Developed in partnership with
Muse Research, this little powerhouse enables
you to run two virtual instrument and two effects
plug-ins simultaneously. Guitarists can plug into
a 1/4" input and access an updatable library of
amp and effects plugs—including Peavey’s ReValver
HP—as well as synths and other virtual instruments
via a MIDI-equipped guitar.
Radial Firefly Tube DI
|Radial Firefly Tube DI
Price: $700 retail/$599 street
Why You Want It: This stylish, ultra-versatile,
and beautiful-sounding class A tube DI box features
two channels and an ingenious Drag control
that allows you to optimize the input load
for various pickups. It comes with two 12AX7
tubes—a premium tube for audiophiles and a
lo-fi tube “for added growl.”
Samson Exp edition XP150
|Samson Expedition XP150
Why You Want It: A modular, 150-watt, 24 lb,
two-speaker-and-mixer PA system for under
three bills? This is huge!
Live Play GTX
|TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play GTX
Price: $485 retail/$349 street
Why You Want It: This little box combines the
VoiceLive Play’s vocal processing, accompaniment,
and other tools with TC Electronic’s extensive
guitar effects and AmpTones presets, to
create a super-powerful live-performance and
practice machine for singing guitarists.
Apogee M iC and JAM
Price: $199 retail (MiC); $99 retail (JAM)
Why You Want It: MiC is a direct-input, mediumdiaphragm
condenser for iOS devices, and JAM
is a digital iOS preamp for guitar and bass
ART USB Dual Tube Pre
|ART USB Dual Tube Pre
Price: $189 retail/$149 street
Why You Want It: Operating as a standalone USB
audio interface or as an expander for any system
with a S/PDF digital input, this compact unit supplies
dual tube-driven mic/instrument preamps
with 48-volt phantom power, optical compression, a
switchable insert, a headphone jack, and much more.
Price: $99 street
Why You Want It: A cool dynamic cardioid mic
that you can plug directly into your DAW via USB.
Auralex MAX 1141VB Portable Voca l Booth
|Auralex MAX 1141VB Portable Vocal Booth
Why You Want It: No more worries about your
home studio being too sonically reflective to
record pristine vocal tracks.
|Blue Microphones Mikey Digital
Price: $99 street
Why You Want It: Designed for iPod Touch,
iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad 2 and iPad, this diminutive
stereo cardioid condenser boasts a 35Hz-
20kHz frequency response, three gain settings
and automatic or manual gain control, a line
input, a USB pass through, and more—and it’s
compatible with most recording apps.
Event 20/20 BA S monitors
Price: $449 each
Why You Want It: Big clear sound thanks to dual discrete
Class AB amplifiers that provide up to 250
watts of burst power for the Opal technology 1" silk
dome tweeter and 8" mineral-impregnated woofer.
Gemini SR Series
Price: $129 to $249 each
Why You Want It: Excellent price/performance
ratio. Bi-amplified studio reference monitors
available in 5" (SR-5), 6.5" (SR-6), 8" (SR-8),
along with a 10" subwoofer (SR10-SUB).
MOTU Digital Performer
8 f or Windows
|MOTU Digital Performer 8 for Windows
Price: $795 retail/$499 street
Why You Want It: The popular Mac-based DAW
is now available for Windows 7 users. Significant
new features include an expanded video playback
engine, “Punch Guard” confidence recording,
14 new user interface themes, and 15 new
Price: $399 street
Why You Want It: A super-stereo-digital-recording
machine for musicians. Includes an onboard
tuner and metronome.
DP V2 Mic/Instrument
|Presonus BlueTube DP V2 Mic/Instrument Preamplifier
Price: $229 street
Why You Want It: Can’t decide between a superclean
solid-state mic/instrument preamp and a
preamp that adds tube warmth and even overdrive?
This handy device gives you two channels
of both in one box.
Sennheiser X SW 72 Instrument
Price: $399 retail
Why You Want It: Perfect for small venues. True
diversity reception. Ten hours of operation.
Audio mute button on transmitter.
Sony PCM M10
|Sony PCM M10
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Records 24-bit/96kHz WAV
or straight to mp3. 4GB flash memory and also
takes optional SD card. Electret condenser mics,
digital pitch-control. Built-in speaker.
Price: $299 street
Why You Want It: Four built-in mics (two cardioid,
two omni). Records 24-bit/96kHz WAV
or mp3. XLR and digital input jacks. Built-in
speaker. Wired/wireless remote.
Waves Non-Linear Summing
|Waves Non-Linear Summing Plug-In
Price: $249 native/$349 TDM retail
Why You Want It: Waves’ solution to the homogeneity
of “mixing in the box” is the NLS plug-in,
which emulates the characteristics of 32 inputs
each on Mark “Spike” Stent’s SSL 4000G, Mike Hedges’ EMI TG12345 Mk 4, and Yoad Nevo’s
Neve 5116 mixing consoles.
Universal Audio Apollo
Price: $1,999 street (Duo Core)/$2,499 street
Why You Want It: Besides being a super-robust,
high-resolution, 18x24-channel FireWire and
Thunderbolt-ready audio interface, the Apollo
houses either two (Duo Core) or four (Quad Core)
SHARC processors for real time UAD processing
via UA’s myriad software plug-ins. A perfect marriage
of analog and digital.
Price: $199 street
Why You Want It: It looks retro slick, it’s perfect
for home recording and bedroom practice sessions,
it has five amp models and eight onboard
effects, and it sounds delicious.